Friday, 22 May 2009
"What the fucks that?"
"it's my luggage....why?"
"Why?...Cos you look like a bag lady, that's why."
"A bag lady....?"
"No, strike that. You look like a bag dwarf."
"It was my grandmas."
"And we know what a fuckin nutter she was, don't we?"
"Fuck off, Sean...Anyway, what's that thing you've got?"
"It's our Tracy's."
"Pink. Are you fuckin gay, Sean...or what?"
"Shut it, Stumpy, or I'll fuckin slap you."
"What with? Your handbag?"
"Look, PORG, (Person Of Restricted Growth) Grab your bin bag, and follow me."
The journey to Manchester International Airport was undertaken in one of ‘Greek Tony’s’ dilapidated Nissan bluebirds. It was touch and go whether our intrepid pair would ever actually board the flight, as the ageing motor limped down the M62 in a camouflaging fug of blue smoke.
Diffy looked perplexed.
“Fifty quid still seem ridiculously cheap for a week in Ibiza, Sean.” He said, at length.
“Fear not, oh miniscule one.” replied Sean. “ You see these deals on the idiot box every day. It was a steal, even if I had to negotiate it with that imbecile, Sanjeev. Fucker can’t even speak the lingo. How the fuck he runs a travel agents I have clue not one.”
“He only usually books flights back home for his mates from the mosque. I think this was a first for him.”
“Well, Stumpy, he needs to get up to fuckin speed if he wants my custom again.”
“What the fuck was the inflection for, you PORG?”
“Well, let’s face it, Sean. When was the last time you went abroad for your holidays? You usually spend a week at your Aunty Edna’s static caravan in Rhyll. I don’t think, Rhyll, constituted ‘abroad’. Do you?”
“I went to the Isle of Man once with my social worker. Remember?”
“How could I not remember, Sean? You came back and bored everybody shitless for a month. Anyone would think you had gone to the other side of the world, and not to some God forsaken little island in the Irish Sea..!
“Fuck off, Diffy. Anyway, where have you been? Fuckin nowhere, that’s where. You get a nosebleed if you go to Southport for the day.”
“Nothing wrong with Southport. I spent many happy holidays in Southport. The jewel of the north, they call it.”
“Bollocks! The arsehole of the world is what they call it. I went to Southport once. It was closed.”
“Fuck you, Sean, and all who sail in you.”
A huge silver bird climbed steeply from beyond the trees to their right. It rose slowly, gracefully into the azure blue sky, before dipping its wings and banking to the east. They watched it in silence, until it was lost to the dazzling sunlight.
Sean and Diffy settled back in their seats, both lost in their own thoughts, until ‘Terminal1. Manchester International Airport,’ loomed large before them: a massive beehive of frenzied activity; a mingling of cultures and accents…..A bit of a shithole, actually.
“Fuck me sideways, Diffy. We’re here.”
The taxi disgorged them in front of the huge bank of sliding doors that offered access to the departure lounge, and disappeared into the melee of traffic fighting its way back towards the motorway, and the normality of England’s industrial Northwest.
Sean looked around at the disquieting variety of designer luggage that busied to and fro in the hands of, and being dragged by an assortment of equally exotic looking individuals. He looked down at his own, and Diffy’s battered grips, and shrugged.
“Fuck it.” He said. “Come on, oh stumpy one. Time to vacation, methinks.”
It was the first time either of them had been on the business end of the travel experience, and they were suitably impressed. The line of checkouts stretched into the distance, both to the left and to the right. Each checkout had a long snake of patiently waiting travellers and their luggage, all shuffling forward at a snails pace, and looking more like they were waiting to attend a wake rather than board a plane to exotic climes.
“Where do we go now?” asked Diffy, a little nervously.
“Fuck knows, mate.” Answered Sean, in a not altogether convincing tone of authority. “Follow me. I’ll see us right.”
They girded their loins, grasped the handles of their bags, and went off in search of someone who might be able to help.
Before long they came a cross a slight Asian fellow, who was industriously emptying the replete litter bins of their cargo of sandwich wrappers and empty soft drink cans.
“Oy! “ said Sean in an altogether inappropriately loud voice. “Do o you o know o where o we o check o in o?”
The litter collector looked up at Sean, and held his stare for a couple of seconds. Then he spoke.
“I come from fuckin Bradford, not fuckin Bangladesh.”
He pointed back towards the check out desks from whence they had just come, and both Sean and Diffy muttered an apology under their breath before retracing their steps.
“I feel like a bit of a twat, now.” Said Diffy.
“That’s ok, then, titch, cos you’ve looked like a bit of a twat for years.”
“Which check in do we go to, Sean?”
“Who knows. We’ll just go to the one with the shortest queue. That usually works for me. Here we are.”
They joined the end of a relatively short queue that seemed to be made up primarily of young families accompanied by huge lungs covered in a thin membrane of skin. These lungs were giving forth in such a manner that Sean was forced to tell the parents of the nearest lung to please take effective measures to shut the lung the fuck up, or he would take matters into his own hands, and eject aforementioned lung onto the car park.
This tirade caused the family to pick up the lung and move, lock stock and barrel to the end of a much longer queue.
“If you do that to every family with a screaming kid,! Said Diffy with an enormous grin, “we’ll be at the front of the queue in no time.”
“No need, oh squat one. Only another two to go, then we is on our way.”
A further five minutes saw our intrepid travellers staring into the inscrutable face of a large, florid lady, who looked more than a little pissed off with the whole procedure.
Sean produced the tickets with a flourish, waving them in front of her face for a couple of seconds before dropping them onto the desk.
“Two tickets to heaven, I think you’ll find.” he grinned with a saucy wink.
The disquietingly grim face looked at the tickets before picking them up with the tips of its fingers, as if they had Ebola, or bird flu.
Sean and Diffy waited.
The grim countenance looked at the tickets, then at Sean.
“Are you taking the piss?” it said.
“Pardon?” replied Sean.
“I said, are you taking the piss?”
“I don’t know what you mean, love.”
“One thing, I am not your love, and another…….These are not tickets to heaven……..They are tickets to ‘Evita’.
“No, you fuck off. And if you say that again, I won’t bother with security. I will come over there and rip your bollocks off myself.”
“She looks like she could, too.” Said Diffy.
“Is that your son.?”
“Fuck off, I’m his mate.”
“If either one of you says ‘fuck off’ again, I will personally disembowel you…….Right?
“Now, lets go back to the beginning. Are you taking the piss?”
“You keep saying that,” answered Sean, “but I have no idea what you mean. Those are two tickets to Ibiza.”
“I’m afraid they are not.” For the first time, the face looked like it was enjoying this exchange. “They are two tickets to a performance of ‘Evita’ at the Manchester Palace, and they aren’t even for today. The performance was yesterday. So you are fucked either way. No Ibiza; no Evita.”
“Sanjeev?” said Diffy.
“I’ll kill him!” said Sean.
“Is there nothing you can do?” pleaded Sean.
“Like what?” replied the face. “I could sing ‘Don’t cry for me Argentina.’ if that’ll help.”
“Now that deserves a ’fuck ‘off” blurted Sean.
“Agreed.” said the face with a grin. “ I just couldn’t resist, though.”
There was a pause whilst both parties searched for a solution that just wasn’t there.
“I’m sorry lads,” she said at length, “I truly am. But it looks like somebody shafted you good and proper. I’ll have to ask you to move so I can deal with the other passengers. The passengers with tickets for a flight, not an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical….. Sorry, couldn’t resist that, either….Sorry.”
Sean and Diffy picked up their bags and turned dejectedly away.
A familiar voice: a familiar Scottish voice, bellowed across the hall.
“I dinna believe it! If it isn’t wee Sean and Sniffy.”
“Hello, Tam.” Sean tried without effect to hide his glum countenance. “What are you doing here?”
“Why, wee laddie, I’m off tae Ibiza. Ma brother Hamish runs a wee bar out there. I’m away tae drink the fucker dry.”
“Smells like you already did.”
“Aye. Anyway. boys, what the fuck are you two doing so far away from the dole office?”
“We just saw Diffy’s Aunty Molly off. She’s going to live in…………………Lithuania.”
“Yes…………………….She’s a missionary.”
“Why are you repeating everything I say?”
“I dinna know.” Tam roared with laughter, and clapped both of them on the back soundly. “Anyway, wee fuckers. Tam’s away tae his holidays. I’ll see you two when I get back. I’ll hae some tales tae tell, for sure. See you boys.”
And Tam was gone. Swallowed by a surging mass of holidaymakers. Something Sean and Diffy were definitely not.
“That’s it, then, Diffy. We might as well jump a taxi. We can be back in The Swan in an hour.”
“And pissed in two?”
“Sounds like a plan, my diminutive friend. Come on.”
They walked dejectedly towards the automatic exit doors, both lost in his own reverie. Neither of them could believe it. Bloody Sanjeev. He wouldn’t half get it. Confusing ‘Ibiza’ with ‘Evita’. What a wanker. ‘Mind you,’ Sean smiled to himself. ‘I suppose you could see the funny side.’
They walked through the sliding doors into another world. The drop off point was a cold windswept grey tunnel with nothing to redeem it. Their moods dropped accordingly, and each breathed a huge, disappointed sigh.
The female voice was a distant sound of nail on blackboard. Neither Sean nor Diffy wanted to hear the sound of people enjoying themselves.
Out of idle curiosity, Sean looked over his shoulder to where two young, blonde haired girls stood waving frantically in their direction.
He turned back to look for whoever they were hailing. The car park was empty.
He looked over his shoulder again.
The girls were laughing now, and beckoning to them.
They were Australian. Sean could tell that much from the accent.
“You two, for Christ’s sake come here. Are all you Poms thick?”
Sean looked at Diffy, who was looking up at Sean. They left their bags and strolled over.
“Hiya, girls.” smiled Sean. “you’re from Australia, aren’t you?”
“One hundred dollars to the bright Pom.” Grinned the tallest one. The one with the shoulder length hair and humongous chest. “Wondered if you guys could help us.”
Again, Sean looked at Diffy, and Diffy returned the glance.
“Sure.” said Sean.
“Sure.” said Diffy.
The girls giggled, then the shorter, but no less voluptuous one spoke.
“Have you guys ever heard of a place called, Bolton?”
“Have we? Girls, this is your lucky day. That’s where we live, isn’t it, Diffy?”
“Diffy.” Laughed the shorter, but no less voluptuous one. “What a cute name. I like Diffy.”
Diffy was by this time in real danger of exploding with lust.
“Linda’s Uncle lives there.” said the taller, equally voluptuous one. “We are staying for a few weeks. Could you two suggest a couple of decent pubs? You know, show us the ropes?”
Sean swallowed hard, and Diffy started to buckle at the knees, before pulling himself together.
“Show you the ropes?” Said Sean. “It would be our pleasure. Wouldn’t it, Diffy?”
“Sure would, Sean.”
Sean grinned the grin.
Come on, girls. He said. “Me and Diffy here are going to show you the ropes.”
Ibiza…..Who needs, Ibiza?